Sorry Dominguez, Cimatu: Duterte ain’t lifting Gina Lopez’s ban on open pit mining because it’s not in PH interest
Former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez might be gone from the Cabinet but her influence on President Rodrigo Duterte endures.
Duteret declared he was not lifting the ban on open pit mining imposed by Lopez last April in direct opposition to the recommendation of Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
“I will only lift it when I think the higher interest of the Philippines is served. Hindi ko basta-basta i-ano ‘yan until such time that we would have reached that level where the highest interest of the country and that is my Republic of the Philippines will be served,” said Duterte in an interview Tuesday.
“Aaw ko because it is destroying the…the soil, the environment. At walang corrective measures kaagad,” he added.
Last October, the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) co-chaired by Dominguez and Cimatu recommended the “voted to recommend a change in the policy of the DENR with regard to Department Administrative Order (issued by Lopez) 2017-10, particularly, that the DENR lift the ban on open pit mining provided that mining laws are strictly enforced.”
But Duterte was adamant and would not consider any study backing the lifting of the ban on open pit mining.
“Alam mo kasi, maski na hindi, wala na ‘yang study, yougo to places where there’s an open pit mining and you can see the destruction of the soil mismo, the environment. ‘Yan ang problema because ‘yung mina-mine mo diyan, ‘yung ini-scrape mo, you do not have to dig a hole unlike oars, paikot ng paikot ‘yan, palalim ng palalim,” he said.
“Why will I suffer for you? I’m depriving to… the country. Sisirahan kita. How much do I earn from the taxation? About 70 billion a year? I can let it go. So what kung wala tayo?” he added.